Tuesday, December 29, 2009
- Lots of dreams/nightmares. Nothing I can recall in particular but none involve children/little animals or anything like that.
- First trimester I felt like I was way more tired than last pregnancy.
- Terrible skin. Worse then when I was in high school. This was not a symptom when I carried the twins (see how I called them the twins, it's creeping in my vocabulary!).
- Hair continues to fall out - no shiny pretty hair for me (but I seem to recall it was only pretty in the third trimester last time). I read that girl babies "suck the beauty" out of you.
- No other symptoms other than dislike of chicken and foot cramps, the latter of which I had forgotten how much I suffered last time. I can still sleep on my stomach but am showing a ton (more on that below).
- We call the baby Spyder. I don't quite recall why that started but there you have it.
I also have to do a gestational diabetes test - if I pass this time I still have to do another in the third trimester. Fingers crossed that I am not inflicted this time because I optimistically threw away my monitor after Ned and Penny were born. Husband asked last night what this kid was going to be allergic to - I shuddered and said, this child had better eat well!
I will be posting a few kid pictures although 90+% of my photos in the last two months are terrible - even with getting a new camera for Christmas. I also have a post in mind about what I vow will be different after Spyder is born.
In the meantime let me related a funny work story:
Last week was my review. I meet with a member of our governing committee after they all get together to discuss the senior associates. I sit down in front of Partner X who is in his 50s with two college kids.
He says "Hello, how are you? It looks like you are expecting?"
WTF? I mean I know I'm showing some and I had to give up on regular pants about 3-4 weeks ago but really, do you say that to someone when it isn't obvious that they might give birth on your office floor?
Of course I said I was and after someone else made an unsolicted pregnancy comment said I decided I needed to tell my department head. He's out this week. I can just imagine all the whispers at our department lunch next week if I don't have a chance to tell him. I bet they wish they could institute a policy like the army on pregnancies.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Their friend Georgie has a few syllables but she literally tries to talk to you all the time - you can feel the "conversation" and I know that is lacking in my kids.
We talk to Ned and Penny ALL THE TIME. We ask them questions, sing songs, read stories. But for some reason neither kid does much more than grunt and say a few nonsensical syllables (and not consistent enough to consider it language). They don't even point with one finger - they use their whole hands. Penny seems to understand better - she can follow simple instructions. Ned never seems to be able to focus in on doing whatever you asked him to do (bring me that book, where is your sippy cup, etc.).
I can have Ned evaluated for Early Intervention but frankly I don't think it does much. I don't mind paying for Penny to see someone for her gross motor (especially since Ned gets to go to the weekly play group too) but I can't imagine that at this age EI can do too much to get them to talk. At double the cost it isn't worth it for something I don't think will truly benefit him.
Their EI playgroup will be with older kids starting in January and I'm enrolling them in a mixed age (0-5) music group too.
With Penny's gross motor she just needs to get bigger to develop those skills (as evidenced by crawling, using a sippy cup, etc. that she basically figured out on her own). Maybe the pediatrician is right and language will explode in the next month. But for now there is hand pointing and grunting and we just hope for the best.
I've been hiding from playdates as a result and basically avoiding all "mommy milestone" conversations around the office - avoiding as much "comparison" as I can.
Any other ideas? My dad joked that we should have them watch TV. But except for the occasional Mommy-is-completely-wiped-on-Sunday-evening TV isn't part of our routine.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I thought all that until last night.
That was the night when all my training and experience came up short. The night when I was just another helpless father. The night it all went wrong. The night I re-learned humility.
It was The Night When Penny Pooped in the Tub.
Thought I'd do a bubblebath...fun change of pace. Both kids playing, splashing happily. Done with Penny, starting to wash Ned. Suddenly, a horrible smell. Penny strangely still and quiet. Oh... Oh, no...
Yank both kids out of the tub. Ned still soapy, unrinsed. Penny suddenly dirty again. Both crawling around the bathroom floor getting things wet (and worse). Me, staring a the turd peeking out of the bubbles, trying to plan my next move. OK, there's the bucket we use to dump water on their heads. Scoop up the turd in that. Well, most of it.
Crap. Now I've got a bucket of water with a rapidly disintegrating Penny poop. What do I do with it? WHAT DO I DO?
I stand there trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. Crazy ideas go through my head. Strain out the turd somehow to throw it away. Toss the whole bucket in the yard. Kitchen garbage disposal, maybe? WHAT THE HELL DO I DO WITH THIS POOP BUCKET!?!??
Oh, right. There's a toilet right there. That'll work.
The rest of the incident was straightforward, trying to quickly clean the worst out of the tub and rewash the kids. But the damage to my confidence was done. I just froze up in the moment of crisis. Useless in the face of disaster.
I guess it turns out I'm just as helpless as the next dad. At least I was last night, The Night When Penny Pooped in the Tub.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
In an attempt to overcome my writers block I will write about a few new kid "tricks".
Penny: She likes to use a spoon and a fork - technique is still evolving of course. Often she'll pick up some food, break off a small piece, put that part on the tray table and eat the rest. Not sure what she spots in there!
Ned: He still enjoys sitting and flipping through books and has learned to push buttons, turn knobs and climb on couches. He will spin around in a circle when he is happy.
Both kids: Jealousy and competition have starting to appear. Both want to be on top of the climber and whine about it but sometimes Penny will let Ned be up there and they will laugh at each other through the window openings. If Penny is in my lap (she has started climbing in all the time), then Ned will insist on coming over for a hug... and to push Penny out of the way. There seems to be more whining/grabbing toys, books, sippy cups out of the other kid's hands.
Any advice on how to handle the green-eyed monster?
Friday, December 4, 2009
Due Date: June 4, 2010
Just one. I know I've spoken on How Do You Do It about having another (or two). But I really didn't expect it to happen so quickly given how long it took me to get pregnant with Ned and Penny. No fertility treatments, just plenty of relaxing nights (before work got busy) and wine. Bye, bye, vino...
For all my work friends please keep this on the down-low - I'm not planning on telling work until after New Year's. It will be hard to be the FOURTH woman in my department to announce an upcoming maternity leave - especially since my tykes will only be 21 months old when the new one arrives. But as one wise attorney told me - "I make every small decision every day focusing on my work so I'm not going to let work dictate the big decisions."
One funny Mom of Multiples item to reflect on - I've started referring to Ned and Penny as my "twin" pregnancy when normally I don't call them the "twins" - I guess it is a way to differentiate between the two pregnancies.
My friend Helen remarked - "You do realize that you are going to have three kids under 2 years old?" "Only for a couple of months," I replied. How's that for positive attitude?
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
So that leaves the Esqs scrambling a little. I stayed home yesterday missing a department meeting but work was otherwise slow so it was okay. Grammy offered to help but she has a million errands/appointments and is recovering from major surgery (did I mention my mom donated a KIDNEY to a friend a few weeks ago?) so she was only able to come for a couple of hours.
Today through Friday the kids are in my back-up daycare which means 45 mins of traffic (or more) each way, preparing bottles, packing bags, having to lug all there stuff (forgot Penny's medicine), pick them up for lunch since daycare doesn't provide more than snacks, and leaving work promptly at 5:30 pm. I don't know how everyone else does this every day! We are spoiled by having a nanny.
We also had to do a bit of research on our worker's compensation insurance. For now we'll cover co-pays (maybe take it out of Penny's 529 plan?) and give her paid sick time off. If it goes beyond 5 days though we have to notify the state. Penny will be giving April a "sorry" card - with the corners cut off.
I'm also trying to take Saturday through Tuesday off, since Husband and I are going away for TWO NIGHTS! WOOT! And yes, I had to specify on my availability that I wasn't available on Saturday or Sunday - weekends are NOT sacred in my profession. I was going to take the whole week but as is always true if I don't have plane tickets I end up working.
Finally, kid update: I took them for their 15 month checkup yesterday. By myself! First time I've done anything with both of them alone out of the house in a long time. Ned weighs in at 22 lbs, 6 oz (25%), 31 inches (25%) tall and 18 inch head (25%). It always makes me laugh when people think he's "so big" - he is ... compared to Penny. She is 17 lbs, 5 oz, 29 inches tall and 17.25 inch head; no percentages of course. We delayed the MMR and varicella vaccines on my personal theory that if they are recommended for kids that are a minimum of 12 months old shouldn't said child weigh as much as a 12 month old? Penny weighs about the average of a 6-7 month old.
Some guilt tripping on not brushing their teeth every night (we hit about 60%) and starting to use utensils. Ned is behind on language/comprehension skills so we are going to keep an eye on it for 3 more months and then call EI if he hasn't made some good progress.
Pictures to come soon, I promise!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Once a week we are going to test her baseline but with the understanding that her home monitor cannot tell us the "quality" of the data (they can in the fancy lab) - e.g., sometimes she sets if off by moving around. We are also going to keep the O2 tank and supplies for when she has a cold or any other indication that her breathing is not 100%. I'm also going to keep a close eye on her energy levels (one immediate benefit we saw when she first when on O2).
For the last five months we have been putting the nasal cannula over her head, leaving Duoderms on her pretty face, listening to her (rightfully) complain about the arm restraints she can't pull off in the morning, the beeping (oh, God, the beeping!) and it seems unreal that this is becoming part of Penny's medical HISTORY.
It's making me a little weepy.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
When I saw Ned on Saturday morning I was hoping for a "Mama!" that did not materialize but I did get extra hugs to fill me with maternal love. I enjoyed the time I had with them, took two naps when they did and repacked my bag.
Husband is all alone this week - and with a business trip today to boot. It has been an exciting transaction and a great learning experience but I'm ready to be home and to start thinking about long-term work/family issues.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Many props to Husband but since this is my blog I wanted to mention some benefits of business trips.
- Not my problem. It is sad but true - there is not much I can do from here. I feel for Husband that he has to refill Penny's formula prescription, drive to doctor's appointments, etc. but there is nothing I can do about it.
- Just me. No O2 monitor going off, no noises as a kid stirs over the baby monitor. Just me and my alrarm forcing me out of bed each morning. Only me to shower, dress and feed.
- Focus on work. I am all about this deal. There is no distraction about needing to be home for bedtime or taking care of them in the morning. A deal is like a newborn since I can only eat and sleep in snatches here and there but it is nice to re-focus on work (hopeful that this travel/work all the time is a temporary situation).
- No commute. I actually have to take a taxi from my hotel to our office but it isn't that long a commute (few miles).
I'm trying to use the time to focus clearly on my work and hope that the kids don't change too much in my absence. Whether this is a life I can lead from here on out is another question for another blog post.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Sent: Thursday, November 05, 2009 10:36 AM
To: Mommy, Esq
Monday: nothing special
Tuesday: I come home early to cover for April’s doctor appt.
Wednesday: I work from home or come home by noon for kids’ flu shots, then work from home in afternoon, then take Penny to MEEI for sleep study. You’ll relieve April (late?)
Thursday: I’m at MGH with Penny. You cover morning; I should be back for evening assuming all goes well. After bedtime, I have to drive to client in CT.
Friday: [You cover morning.] I’m in CT until early afternoon; should be able to make it back for bedtime…but better if you can cover just in case.
Clearly most of The Juggle next week belongs to Husband but it will come around again soon!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
This morning was typical. I heard Ned some time after 5 am (stupid time change didn't go as well as previously declared). Around 6 am I was having the following conversation: "Cute Ned noises. He must be hungry. Must go get bottles. Get out of bed. Come on, get your butt out of bed, what are you going to do, starve your children? Ned is saying "Dadadada" - will Husband take the hint? Get your lazy butt out of bed!". [And finally out of bed to feed the kids after Husband did go get the bottles (he went back to bed).]
Then in the building garage after sitting in too much traffic: "Maybe I'll just shut my eyes for a minute. Ugh, I'm sure there are a million things I can be doing in the office. I can get through the day. Sure, I have no idea when this deal is going to explode but I'll survive it. What if I just stayed in the car all day? Open the door and get out of the car!"
I think my other self has something to say about my decision to blog instead of work but I plan on shutting her up with some lunch in about 10 minutes.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Big Firm is not a culture of team building exercises but I enjoy hearing about them. What sort of team building activities does your workplace engage in? Any "trust falls" still in the mix (loved that part of "Mean Girls").
I think we should try to do more Esq. team building. Working around nap schedules and crappy weekend weather has left us bereft of weekend activities and the whole family is pretty cranky by Sunday afternoon. Any family team building suggestions for a crawler, walker and two adults is welcome!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I really wanted a great shot of my two kids but since Ned has started toddling around he would not stay still!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
She weighed in at 15lbs, 10oz yesterday - up 10oz from a little less than a month ago. All the bread she scarfs down must be helping. If only a veggie would make its way into her mouth...
We normally put Penny to sleep with her toe probe on (we test to make sure it is working) and then leave the monitor off and let her fall asleep for an hour or so and then go and put on her arm restraints and the O2. Last night I turned the O2 monitor on and it stayed around 95/96% so I decided to leave her alone. It was around the same level when I turned in at 10 pm. The monitor is set to go off at 88%. At 4:30 am the monitor went off and Husband checked on her - her level had already gone up to 96% again by the time he got in there.
We have now officially had our first night without oxygen!! Keep your fingers crossed that this keeps up.
P.S. I should also mention that the adenoidectomy has helped her breathing overall - she's not as snorty and a much more quieter sleeper (although still snores a little bit). The other big benefit is the lack of snot. Penny basically had a runny nose for the last four months - we wiped it all day long and I really don't want to think about what she looked like in the morning. She has been drippy-snot free! I swear, writing this all down will come back and bite me in the ass.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Anyway, he has 2 kids, one Ned and Penny's age, and a stay-at-home wife in the 'burbs. I mentioned that I was going to my alma mater on Saturday to judge a negotiation competition. He said "wow, you must really prefer not to see your kids." Do you think he would have said that to a male senior associate? Don't you wonder how often he sees his kids? What do you think his wife would have said if she had heard him say that?
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Before I went back to work I fretted quite a bit about feeding and the kids' development milestones. I make no bones about the fact that I worry significantly less now that I'm at work. When I see the kids for about 2 hours a day (tops) do I want to tie myself in knots about Penny's inability to eat a vegetable or that she has maybe taken 5 sips out a sippy cup in her entire life? And sure, Ned COULD go without his very small bedtime bottle but after wrestling our dinosaur-monster into his diaper and jammies it calms him down.
My friend Helen used to complain that Suri Cruise was 2 and there were photos of her in US Weekly with a bottle. We just hide our camera during bottle time. No evidence so if we do manage to "wean" them before college no one will ever be the wiser.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I miss my little snuggler who would gently touch my face and coo at me. This little boy that has appeared out of thin air is willful and not always very nice to his sister. He screams bloody murder when we try to get him dressed for bed but if we let him roam the (unbabyproofed) portions of the house he'll reward us with happy shrieks. This little boy still eats well but he likes to throw food and sippy cups on the floor and laugh when you tell him "no" and pout when he doesn't get his way.
Thanks, Neddy Bear, for introducing the Esq. Family to The Toddler Years.
Monday, September 28, 2009
We tested the new stroller out last night at the Burlington Mall with a stop for dinner at Legal Seafood's where the kids didn't eat any fish or nicely grilled veggies but did gobble up french fries (sigh).
1. Maneuverability. Very good - the front wheels can be locked or freely swivel. Perfect for running the kids in circles when their daddy is off trying on Gap clothes and they are cranky. It also fits through doorways and elevators much, much more easily than the Bob. That is the primary reason why I got the new stroller.
2. Collapsible. Also very good. I had the guy in the store show me twice and it is no problem. You can't do it with one hand but hey, my kids can wait in their car seats while I set it up and put it away. And it folds small enough that it fits next to the captain chair in the middle seat instead of in the way back.
3. Seats. Narrow. Ned and Penny were able to play tug of war on Ned's lovey (which he thought was hysterical). But they "sit up" very well - I like a less reclined seat so they can see more. It also reclines at least 45 degrees (I didn't put it all the way back so it may recline further) if you like that feature.
4. Handles. I would have preferred one handle but a double collapsible umbrella stroller with one handle for cheap is pretty much impossible to find. The height is not adjustable but it is fine for my husband (5' 10'') and me (5' 3'').
5. Storage. It is even better than the Bob. One basket under each kid and very easy to get to for shopping bags or diaper bags. And there is an adult cupholder!
6. Sun/rain cover. This will mostly be an indoor stroller so we didn't even attach it but they looked pretty deep and were individual (which I don't really care about).
7. Straps. This is the feature I actively dislike about the stroller and not one I thought to "try out" in the store. The straps themselves are fine - they seem comfortable enough - but it is a pain to actually snap the straps into the harness. I had to move the fabric cover off the harness point to more easily snap them into place. They are also tough to unsnap. If anyone has handy tricks how to deal with this flaw I'd appreciate it.
8. Durability. The fabric seems durable and only time will tell about the wheels, but I don't expect to be out in the woods or non-pavement surfaces with this stroller so I think it will do just fine.
While I do not want to have buyer's remorse I'd still be interested in hearing what umbrella/store strollers you like.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
I have yet to test if he understand that word with respect to all cats or just Scotia. Don't you love "experimenting" on your kids? What was your kid(s)'s first word?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Ned and Penny went to their friend Harry's first birthday this past weekend at a park. Harry's wagon was a big hit - although Penny was a bit unsure when both Harry and Ned decided to push her. Don't they look adorable in their fleece jackets my mom got them at LL Bean?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I've been lacking on the posting front but lots has been going on - after work commitments, job worries, organizing our home office (yeah!) and general "life crap". Penny's surgery is Monday so I'll update when we are back home. Have a nice weekend!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
My blog has a limited audience but I think if anyone else has to deal with this (I'm starting to feel like we are the only parents in this situation) they might be happy to have our "experiments" to help them.
- Mask. We started using a mask instead of a nasal cannula because it was easier to readjust it in the middle of the night (instead of taping the nasal cannula). If you up the O2 level it can function a bit like a "blow-by". But Penny is a stomach sleeper and turns her head a lot so we had to go in to adjust it all the time. We have now pretty much abandoned the mask.
- Duaderm on her cheeks (near nose), one tegaderm on top, then cannula, then another tegaderm to secure it. The nurse advised this but Penny still pulls them off.
- Pediatric arm restraints. Husband hates them but I think they do work. Last night after our 15th trip into the room I put them on her, then taped the nasal cannula in place. I didn't have to go in there again. By the time we went in (at 7:30 am!) she had managed to remove one restraint. When the other came off she sat up and pulled the tape/cannula off before I even had the chance to do so.
- Cannula behind the head. We are supposed to secure it under her chin. Making it a million times easier to pull off. I guess there is a chocking risk about having it behind her head (because when she pulls it off it goes around her neck) but since she is on a heart/O2 monitor it is hard to get really exercised about that risk.
- Cutting the nasal cannula. We cut off the prongs. Her nose is runny (has been for 3 months) and she was always rubbing at her nose when the prongs were in. Instead the nasal cannula "holes" are just under her nose. Since she is also a mouth breather some O2 could also make its way into her mouth. Husband is going to try to take a tube and glue it to a pacifier to see if she'll keep it in that way.
- Trading "shifts". We keep thinking this is a "temporary" situation and have been dealing with it on an ad-hoc basis. Lots of sighing and "can you go in this time" conversations. We need to be better about "assigning" nights so the other parent can get some rest (maybe in the guest room so he/she isn't subject to the endless beeping?).
Our pulmonologist is trying to move up her surgery (not looking likely) and offered to check her into the hospital if we need a break. I think that is a waste of medical resources and would be tough on us as a family. I'd love to have an oxygen tent but they aren't used any more because of fire risk.
The crazy thing is that I know I'm going to miss the monitor when it hopefully (God, please) is gone. It's a constant reassurance that my baby girl is alive. I suspect once it is gone I'll be getting out of bed to check on them both more often like I did before Penny went on oxygen.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
My parents really brought their A-Game. The kids were fed and entertained and Husband and I got some down time. As you can see we needed it:
Penny spent lots of quality time with her Bumpa.
The tykes enjoyed various "adult" activities including a ride in a motor boat, splashing in a jacuzzi and playing with wine (ahem, corks). My parents started to appreciate what it means to "baby-proof" a room again.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I was going to title this post Monday Meandering or Monday Musings but then I realized it was Tuesday.
1. We saw signs for a million yard sales in Maine and I really don't get them. In my mind all they do is transfer crap from one house to another. Theme sales - all baby stuff or something are fine, but the yard sales we saw were more along the lines of "look, here is all the crap I've accumulated for the last 10 years and don't want to keep around any more so give me $5". I'm really anti-clutter so it probably affects my point of view. If I can I donate to charity and the rest we throw away.
2. Husband and I have been up 12+ times a night for what feels like weeks with a Little Lady who will not keep a nasal cannula in or an O2 mask (that we aren't supposed to be using) on her face. After a THREE MINUTE (no joke) meeting with Penny's ENT (I mean, come on, can't we do this crap by phone instead of taking 1/2 a day off work and dragging her into Boston) - her adenoidectomy has been scheduled for Monday, September 21. Since we don't have a time yet I am counting down to bedtime.
3. After spending time considering what food he ate that could possibly result in the rash on Ned's hands and feet our Nanny pointed out he has hand, foot and mouth disease. Husband and I were all "d'oh!".* You know Penny is going to get it. I refuse to bring him to the doctors - it's a virus and there is nothing they can do about it other than charge me a $20 co-pay.
*There was going to be this awesome pic to illustrate but it has crashed my computer 4 times.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Dear Ned, You hate being "penned" in the playroom - all those toys just aren't enough for your need to roam. When you are tired you put your head down on the ground. You love reading books, clapping and banging toys together and creeping around the room. Scotia knows you are coming with your happy screeching. Crawling and pulling up seem to be enough for you for now so I'm not willing to predict when you'll be taking your first independent steps. We would prefer that you didn't knock your sister down or pull up in the bathtub. Everything is funny to you - it lights up our day.
Dear Penny, Two huge milestones this month - you learned to crawl and you weighed in over 15 lbs today (15lbs, 4 oz to be exact). We love the shrieks of joy you shout after dinner and the constant babbling. You have so much concentration and curiosity about the little details in objects. You love to hand us whatever you are playing with so we can join in the fun. Your dad and I keep remarking how grown up you look to us!